Gourmet (South Africa) - - WELLNESS - GRASS-FED GETS GOOD

Don’t be fooled, there’s a lot of bad grass-fed beef out there. And that’s be­cause most pro­duc­ers don’t have the time. Grass-fed meat takes longer to fin­ish than corn­fed. A de­li­cious grass-fed cut with lots of mar­bling can take up to as long as 27 months. You can’t do it in 18. Maple syrup and brown sugar? Snooze. Oats are fi­nally get­ting in­ter­est­ing: Think an­cient grains with coconut milk (recipe on page 19), steel-cut oats with hazel­nut gra­nola and lo­cal grains with roasted figs. WHAT IT IS Rice that’s been in­oc­u­lated with the koji mould (sci­en­tific name: Aspergillus oryzae, if you want to be like that), it’s tra­di­tion­ally used to make miso and soy sauce, kick-start­ing the for­ma­tion of that umami flavour. Pros now whisk fra­grant, fer­mented koji into vinai­grettes, toss it with veg­eta­bles be­fore roast­ing, and treat it as a mari­nade.

WHY WE LOVE IT Na­ture’s MSG, it im­parts a funky, fatty taste – with­out any added salt, sugar, or oil. That’s why chefs are curing chicken with it and rub­bing it on scal­lops, al­low­ing it to coax out their oceanic flavour. Panelle, panisse, socca, cecina – if you see one of these words on a menu, or­der it. What do they have in com­mon? They’re all made from chick­pea flour, the gluten­free, high-pro­tein stuff trans­form­ing dishes like gluten­free pasta or crepes. Chefs love its rich, slightly sweet flavour, not to men­tion a high starch con­tent that makes it great for fry­ing. Does it still count as healthy if it’s fried? Your call.

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